Definition of Futile

DSC028581. The squirrel, trying to get into the squirrel-proof birdfeeder. (Notice the teeth marks all around the metal top. He never gives up. I’m sure it’s a he. With dull teeth.) And really, I know the second photo focused on the window screen instead of the outside, but I had to include it. You have to give the squirrel credit for his gymnastics.

2. Trying to pick a winner from all of the Second Quarter Challenge Sock entries. You all did an awesome job! It’s always fun to tally the votes and each time, the votes are spread out over lots and lots of entries. Different projects appeal to different people and that’s great. This time, the Knitter’s Choice award goes to: Diane’s for her Highland Fling socks and the “everyone who entered gets a ticket in the random drawing and one person wins” award goes to Cynthia, who made a beautiful pair of Cookie A’s Mingus socks.

3. Trying to decipher things in this economy to guess when things are going to start turning around. (So far, I’ve come up with, “Not quite yet.”)

DSC028574.  Whittling my way down to having only a couple of projects on the needles at any given time. (I’m not trying to do that. It just seemed like a good way to define “futile”.)

5.  Attempting to explain to the postman about sock knitters and anniversary kits and packages that go all over the world.

6.  Trying to change my attitude about grocery shopping. (Note: it’s not a good attitude.)

DSC029077.  Attempting to figure out where the summer went, and how it can be August in just a couple of days.

8.  Keeping the top of my desk all neat and tidy, every single day. Today? Not bad. Tomorrow? Probably futile. That’s why I took the picture today. (And I had to re-take it. The first time, there were a couple of secret items shown that you can’t know about yet. I ought to have re-taken it a third time, as I see that my desk blotter calendar is still on June. Oh, well. That’s pretty typical. The Two Cows screensaver is a free download from here. Ya gotta love cows.)

9.  Getting myself to bed at a decent time. Why can’t I be a morning person? (And while I’m at it, why can’t I love to exercise and be a vegetarian? Just wondering.)

10. Trying to come up with a number 10 on the list (it’s futile – my mind is blank). But I’m a little too particular about such things to let the list just end at nine.

Sheri wonderingifyouhaveanyotherdefinitionsofFUTILE?


  1. Futility is pretending I will go home after a long day at work and make dinner and clean the house. I’m lucky if I get the mail.

  2. Futile is my life for the last week and a half – 1/4 stop forward and 6 miles back – oh well 1 week from today I’m winging my way to SS09 – I just keep repeating that to myself and hoping it will help. Besides I figure some things are meant to be the way they are – like you can’t fight City Hall as my grandmother used to say.

  3. Futile is keeping my floors free of animal hair – between the 2 dogs and 3 cats it’s neverending – I can sweep/dry mop in the AM and by dinner time the dust ponies are back (sigh) maybe I can spin it and have it serve some purpose!

  4. Futile is trying to keep the windows clean in a rural location and futile is planning a long walk after I get home from work and would rather pick up my knitting and futile is truly trying to lose weight when I don’t have my mind set on doing it. ;o)

  5. Again, right there with 4, 8, and 9. Though I would have to expand 8 to include my whole room, and my new basement office space, but that’s a different story, and BFF Liz is going to help me get that in order. (I’m cooking. 😎 )

    Futile is getting my 80-year-old-3-year-old to keep the regular garbage and the recycling separate.

    Futile is keeping up with the laundry. Seriously. I have me, Mama, one cat, and one dog. You would think that I had a family of six plus the pets based on the amount of laundry that I have. I think in part it’s because of the sub-futile exercise of trying to get Mama to put away her clean laundry when I bring it upstairs, so instead she lets it sit for a couple days, then starts piling dirty clothes on top of it, and then complains that she has no clean laundry. Lather, rinse, repeat. 🙂 (Don’t get me wrong, I love my Mama, and that she’s still healthy enough to live with me and get along, and most of the time we have a great time together. But this is mildly frustrating.)

    Futile is having enough time in the day to accomplish all the things I need to accomplish, and then actually getting around to something I WANT to accomplish. Like finishing a WIP.

    Oh, I could go on…. (I know. You’ve noticed that tendency. 😎 )

  6. I have to agree with 6. I hate grocery shopping. I am getting to where I only go every two weeks but I absolutely loath it.

    4 and 5 are good too. I only have five active projects but I think it might be too many. I hope you have a great day.

  7. I’m definitely with you on number 9 and number 4. Between new designs and new yarn choices, I think sticking to a yarn diet is pretty futile at my house.

    My squirrels hang upside down from perch and use nose to raise flap that covers seed tray then reach in with front paws to get seeds. Watching them is just as entertaining as watching the birds.

  8. Sheri,
    I love your desk. The wood and style are fantastic. I have never been a clean desk person. Out of sight = Out of mind. I am a pile person. and I love to shock people who come in and ask for something and I can pull it out of the middle of a pile at the first attempt. Blows their mind every time.

    This pile method has also been a problem for some “clean desk type” bosses but so far it works for me.

  9. I am a morning person, but I don’t love to exercise and when you have found the secret to loving it share with me.

    I have hawks to keep my squirrels in check. I love the red squirrels. They are so fierce and they go after everything. A hawk caught one a winter or two ago. We watched him fly off with him. Poor boy. We can even hand feed a few fox squirrels by our house.

  10. Futile is keeping dog fur off the den rug. She’s a golden retriever and shedding. Futile is arguing with an almost three-year-old who wants to watch Noggin “just one minute” instead of going to bed.
    Futile is getting the closet and drawers of said daughter’s bedroom purged of clothes she doesn’t need. She isn’t growing as fast as I anticipated. We have 24 month and 2Ts that were bought for last fall that she is just now wearing along with the 3s and 4s that will obviously be there another year or two! Guess I have to give up one of my closets for her……

  11. Futility for me is trying to get enough sleep, getting really organized at home and the office, keeping up with the laundry, not procrastinating, being ready to leave for our lake house without the panic attack of leaving everything to the last minute, eating right, exercising (in my book that is a dirty word, mostly because I wouldn’t hate it if I would just do it)controlling my yarn buying and dieting. Wow, quite a list now that I look at it…kindof depressing in a way, cause it is all stuff I could do something about, but haven’t….

  12. I have the same feeder and the squirrels have mastered it. They hang upside down from the bottom of it, crunch up to grab some seed, hang down while they eat it and then repeat. After there is enough scratches in it they are able to really grip on. We now put seed in that feeder purely for squirrel entertainment.

  13. Futile for me is also trying to become a morning person! So far, the only thing that’s had even the smallest impact has been beginning to watch my granddaughter one day a week! She arrives at 6:30 so I have to be up and running–don’t even ask when I’m up the rest of the week–mornings don’t become me!

  14. Futile is getting my chores and other projects done during the rainy, foggy days so that when the sun comes out I can play outside! We’ve had soooo many rainy days you’d think I’d be caught up, but the truth is, I secretly love staying inside on rainy days and puttering around, getting stuff done.

  15. Futile is trying to keep cat#1 off the air vent during summer, and cat #2 off the air vent during winter.

    And futile is trying to knit up all the yarn in the stash!

  16. Futile:
    1. Keeping ahead of the laundry.
    2. Keeping ahead of the piles of paper in my office.
    3. Keeping ahead of the herds of dust bunnies that roam around my apartment.

    It is futile to resist…

  17. Futility is getting three teenagers to use a towel more than once or to at least hang it up. I have the same feeder that has been chewed and ultimately mastered by at least one squirrel. He sprawls across several perches (on his back) and scoops seed into his mouth. The solution is the seed with hot pepper added..the birds don’t seem to care.

  18. Umm, I’m the reason you can’t be a morning person (or love to exercise or be a vegetarian). I’m all three!

    Futile is trying to get to sleep when it is muggy and disgusting out and there is no air conditioning.

  19. Futile in my life is:
    1. Expecting the college kids home for the summer to put their glasses in the dishwasher.
    2. Expecting those same kids to put their durty clothes down the laundry shoot.
    3.Or change the bed linens without being asked.
    4. The dogs getting walked without an argument over whose turn it is.
    5. Our 14 year old practicing her viola without at least one whine.
    6. Catching up on paperwork.
    7. Weeding the garden and dead heading flowers (although I kind of like doing this).
    9. Sticking to a diet and getting the exercise needed to go with it.
    10.Waiting to start a new knitting project before the old ones are finished.

    I could go on but I’ll spare you…..

  20. Futility is catching a Wollmeise sneak-up. I could have bought Rosenrot which is the color I just traded away, and no one wants to trade me for. Ugh.

  21. Futility = being a Baltimore Orioles baseball fan and nurturing the hope of watching your team playing in the fall this year 🙂
    Optimism = they’ll be better next year!

  22. The definition of futile as taught to me by my 3 yo Cidney “the squirt”…
    Futile = trying to convince Cidney that we all need to take turns watching our shows on the t.v. (this time it was Daddy’s show)
    (Mommy generally gives up the fight and puts Powerpuff Girls back on…


  23. Futile is resisting those tempting yarns you post in a sneak-up!

    Your postman still doesn’t get it? Maybe he needs to sign up for a knitting class at an LYS? I had a guy on the bus yesterday say, “Oh! You’re knitting socks! Nobody does that any more!” He seemed pleasantly surprised – I then went on to inform him about how there are more knitters than golfers in North America (Thank you, Yarn Harlot), how 30,000 people tried to sign up for the Sock Summit, and would have gotten into explaining the Wollmeise phenomenon except he slowly edged away and went to sit with another guy.

  24. Futile is trying to come up with a dinner that works for
    1) my lactose-intolerant husband
    2) my everything-must-come-with-cheese 10-year-old
    3) my must-have-meat-and-lots-of-it teenager
    4) my doctor who wants me to lose weight and cut back on processed foods and salt because of my high blood pressure.

    Did I mention trying to fit this personal chef attempt in while trying to work full time and drive multiple carpools? If it were just me, I’d go with a bowl of cereal every night!

  25. Futlile is managing to get the husbeast to put away anything. He wants it out where he can find it when he needs it.

    Futile is even thinking about knitting up all the yarn I have and want. i think this might just be an incomprehensible possibility. Did Einstein have a formula for this?

    Futile is getting all the summer stuff done in only one summer. I can’t believe it is almost August already.

    Futile is any thought of balancing work, house work and the stuff you really want to do. I am hoping to win the Lottery so that I won’t have to do the first and someone else will have to do the second and allow me to do the last in the list.

    Good luck with the squirrels. I love their furry little selves. We have chipmunks instead and I love them too. They husbeast hates ’em cause they dig holes in his mulch. So what, they are sooo cute.

  26. Sheri, i am so with you on the grocery thing … it is one of my pet hates. I have suggested to the kids they stop eating as this would mean i wouldn’t have to do grocery’s anymore. They were less than enthusiastic about this idea, I don’t understand it myself, it sounded like such a good plan.
    Futile in this house would be anything to do with laundry – i swear it breeds in there.
    Also futile is having any expectations of logical actions from teenagers- yes your towel will be still wet if you leave it on the floor, no your mother is not the one responsible for picking it up. The alarm really did go off… it really is a school day and no just because i love you heaps doesn’t mean you get to stay home. Yes, your mother hates you because she wants you to go to school and learn things and become a better more educated person than she is.
    Adding to the futile list is : My desk, it apparently accumalates items from everywhere and piles them into interesting little towers of stuff, some useful some not, but the towers are not just throw outable, it requires going through each item.
    ( Sheri, i have desk envy now- i dream of having my desk that neat)

    And in the also ran catagory: Futile is having any moneys left over for mummy to spend on mummy, rather than mummy to spend on said kids who refuse to give up eating because they are very unreasonable. 😉

    Good thing i snuck in the anniversary pack without their knowledge 😀

  27. Avoiding buying the 8-pack Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that were only 88 cents at Rite Aid today. Not only did I buy them – I ate 7 of them myself (I did give one away to avoid being a complete pig).


  28. The futility list is too long. I’m liking the daily list some friends started on Live Journal. We’re posting daily lists of things that do not suck. Everything from the bird at the feeder to fresh tomatos, to hugs to knitting (Ok, that was one of mine).
    It’s been a great way to remember the little things.

  29. Futility is good to keep in mind. But let’s not dwell on it. Too many good things in life to dwell on.

  30. futile- getting a bunch of girls to actually go to sleep before 2am during a sleepover. *twitch*
    My postman still gives me a look when he hands me my packages, and always says “more yarn huh?” to which I reply ” I could be ordering much heaver things that you would have to carry. And yes its more yarn.” I don’t think he’ll ever understand. As long as he delivers my yarn i don’t care!
    LOVE your desk! The cubbies are awesome! And the squirrel shots, they are crazy critters.

  31. Futility… knitting all that I want to knit…
    I certainly hope that when I die, and I am lucky enough to go to heaven, that I can knit up there and get gauge every time!! LOL maybe even with a skein or two of Wollemise…

  32. I’m with you on #6 and #9. People say you have to re-train your body to be able to get up early. Well, I’m 48 years old, I’ve had to get up early most of my life (I drove a school bus for 7 years–getting up at 5:30 every day.) At this point, I’ve decided that if I never got used to it all the years I went to school, all the years my kids went to school, and all the years I drove that darn bus, well, it ain’t gonna happen now.

    #6 is why my grown daughter opened our pantry door one day and gasped. It truly is bare, except for a box of microwave popcorn and a couple of cans of beans.

  33. “Resistance is futile”…so I just go with it and cast on another project! (I have castonitis real bad right now) (it’s also futile resisting the siren call of yarn)

  34. Futile is reducing my stash(es) of sock yarn & quilt fabric by making lots more socks and lots more quilts … somehow, those two stashes (and I’m talking 2 enormous cedar chests plus other containers full of yarn, and one entire sewing room full of quilt fabric) do not seem to be going down even though I’ve knit over 100 PAIR of socks and increased by output of quilts to five so far this year. This may be really futile of me to reduce anything, including my weight!

  35. Futile is expecting your computer to work when you want it to.

    BTW, I love the Pioneer Woman blogs (source of the cow picture, for the uninitiated), too. I just started reading her High Heels to Tractor Wheels story of her life with the Marlboro Man.

  36. I just reread my comment from yesterday 7-29 at 10:02, and I must apologize. I didn’t mean for it to sound like that. I guess I’ve had a few too many futile moments myself lately and I’m just trying to focus on the happier moments. It’s been a wacky week for futility. Maybe the moon’s off course! Hee Hee

  37. Futility is trying to score some Wollmeise when I can’t F5 every minute of every day! Darn sick people….interfering with my ability to buy yarn!

  38. No lack of futility here… My cat is such a sweetie but he kills and eats sqyuirrels so
    your bird feeder would be safe-mine is. However,the ferality is modified by his diabolical habit-he takes the squirrel and hops with it into our old clawfoot bathtub.
    If there is any life left in the squirrel,it cannot climb the slippery tall sides. A kill
    is definite and there is the fultility part-the squirrel tries,but loses. All that is left for us are some guts and a tail. Like a dissection table. Ghoulish fun,isn’t it?
    The futility is also is trying to make him stop. No way.

  39. My feeders all have a squirrel guards on them so there are no squirrel raids. I do, however, find the squirrels so funny to watch. We have a few and I do buy Critter Food for them at the grocery store. Contrary to everything I was told, feeding them does not bring every squirrel in a 10-mile radius to my feeders. They are very funny and I really enjoy watching the little goofballs!

    There is an elderly man in my neighborhood who hand-feeds the squirrels. They simply are not afraid of him. It is amazing to watch!

  40. Futility is trying to reason with a 4 1/2 year old about eating faster and that breakfast/lunch/dinner should NOT take 90 minutes to eat unless you are on a cruise! Futility is wondering what the heck your 2 year old is saying all the time. Futility is trying to find more hours in the day to knit (problem for SAHM of two boys under 5). Futility is trying to keep the house clean with 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 said boys, a hubby, and a partridge in a pear tree (I’m kidding about the partridge part). Futility is wishing I had signed up to attend Sock Summit – hopefully next year. Futility is wishing “shoulda, woulda, coulda” and just loving life and embracing it to its fullest. 🙂

  41. You’re so funny and true! I hate grocery shopping too (actually all shopping except for knitting & books), but it’s futile for me to even think about sending my husband to the store and expect him to come back with what’s on the list–hey, it’s even more futile to expect anyone to write stuff on the list.

    It’s also futile for me to expect anyone to do the daily vacuuming even though I’m the only one without allergies.

    Anyhow, you do have a beautiful desk! It made me wonder if knitters tend to use computer calendar/planners more or paper planners more since paper is so touchable.

  42. Futile is pretty much my life, I agree with the dust, the annimal fur 2 golden retrievers the dirt, wet dogs (pool + goldens = wet dogs all the time) Futile is trying to keep food in the house with 2 teenage sons, am considering refridgeration in the car.

  43. I think enjoying exercise helps if you don’t think of it as exercise :). For me, biking to work isn’t exercise, it’s an opportunity to see all the beautiful wildflowers on the way. Or on the weekends, it’s an opportunity to see cool places around town with my boyfriend. Find some time to go hiking on the weekends; it’s “exercise”, but it’s also a great time to take pictures of flowers and trees and wildlife or bring a picnic, and hikes also often have great views! If you make it family time or friend time, then it doesn’t feel like exercise!

    If you want to try vegetarianism (or just add a few vegetarian recipes to your repertoire), the Vegetarian Times website has some great advice: find three dinners you already make that are vegetarian (like macaroni and cheese for example), find three you make that could easily become vegetarian (like skip the meat in spaghetti and sauce and do garlic bread instead, or do black beans instead of hamburger in tacos), and look on the web or in cookbooks for three vegetarian meals that you want to try, and you’ve already got a week and a half worth of dinners planned! One of my favorites, which is super easy, is to pick up a package of cheese ravioli, a bag of baby spinach, and some cherry tomatoes at the grocery store. Cook the ravioli. Meanwhile, sautee the spinach and tomatoes in olive oil with some garlic. When the ravioli is finished, stir in the spinach and tomatoes, add some parmesan cheese, and you’re done! It takes ~20 min; the limiting factor is usually heating the water and cooking the ravioli.

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